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New to Primal, long bike ride, minimal training = yikes!

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  • New to Primal, long bike ride, minimal training = yikes!

    Hey guys, my wife and I have been living an 80/20 primal lifestyle for the last 4 months and love it! We're both cyclists, but this year I've started a new business and in the last 9 months I've ridden a total of 125 miles over my last 5 rides, so I'm a long long way from being prepared for a bigger ride, but that being said I've agreed to do a 65 mile ride with 3,000 feet of climbing in 3 weeks. This past weekend I decided to see just how out of shape I was, so I did a 38 mile ride with 3,300 feet of climbing.

    I didn't change up my diet at all preceding the ride, and I took my normal bottle of Cytomax and a couple of gels to eat along the way. By the end of the ride my legs were toast and really wanting to cramp up bad. I'm trying to decide if this was because of the fact that I hadn't done an even remotely strenuous ride in 9 months, because I didn't have enough carbs, because it was 92 degrees out, or a combination of the 3. I want to do this same ride this Saturday but add another 5 miles which will add another 500 feet of elevation gain and I'm looking to avoid the cramping if at all possible. Thanks for any input!
    Last edited by hitek79; 06-19-2016, 06:51 PM.

  • #2
    I too started experiencing cramping and some dizziness after switching to Paleo/Primal. Figured my hydration was the issue and began drinking more water on and off the bike...........

    Rolf Devinci Cycling: Salt of the Earth - Rethinking Sodium and Hydration.

    You may be getting enough salt from the 20% non primal diet(?) and or cytomax(I avoid sport drinks) but cycling in the heat will cause you to lose lots of electrolytes through sweat. Factor in your self admitted lack of bike fitness and lots of hills it is no wonder the legs were getting cranky.

    Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate.......that will be my mantra for an upcoming one day stage race to keep the cramping at bay....i hope. Good luck and ride safe!
    Last edited by rolfdevinci; 07-26-2011, 03:25 PM.


    • #3

      The heat in the North East has been brutal and last weeks ride was rough for me in the heat. I don't do as many miles as you but know I was riding pretty strong up to that point. I felt the same way with my beach workouts - even early in the morning.

      I agree with rolf to stay away from the hydrating drinks. Most of these drinks are devoid of magnesium glycinate and can cause major cramping. Mag Gly is easily absorbed into the body and helps with muscle contraction and prevents cramping. The only product I ever used that helped me (and my clients when they feel light headed) is Endura. You can take Endura the day before a big ride to top off your electrolyte balance and take a bottle with you on the ride. If you continue to experience muscle cramps or tightness in the legs, you may want to supplement your diet with magnesium glycinate (400-800mg) daily until you don't expereince the cramping any longer.



      • #4
        Great way to get more salt into your diet.
        Go for organic sea salt versus table salt.


        • #5
          Thanks for all the tips guys. I'm heading out to do the same ride with an extra 5 miles and 500 feet of climbing in the morning, so we'll see how I fair tomorrow. I would like to know more information on all the downsides to the sports drinks. I'm not married to them, so I would be ok with dropping them from the equation, I've just always used them because they were recommended by better riders than me.


          • #6
            So I did eat more carbs the day before the ride and took more food and refilled my water more on this ride and it went much better. 46 miles, 4,200 feet of climbing and no cramping.


            • #7
              That's good news. I don't ride nearly as intensely as you but I had the same problem on my rides up and down the hills around town. More water and making sure to eat a healthy serving of fruit for breakfast the morning before a ride solved it for me.
              "All I ask of food is that it doesn't harm me." ~Michael Palin